The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What do they look like? Ships, motorcycles. With the circuits like freeways. I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see. And then, one day... I got in.
Recently I finally got a chance to see the last movie on my (very short) 2010 movie must see list: Tron: Legacy. I'm not going to review it here, per se, but I am going to chat a bit about the draw of movies on different levels.
I've seen the original Tron dozens of times and it was very much apart of my 80s childhood. I LOVED the concept and story idea but for some reason I could never stay awake or focused enough to follow it to the end (I fear my 80s card would get revoked for saying so - eek). Still, being a hardcore cyberpunk fan, I love the concept and idea. The execution not so much. Still, I plan on seeing it again soon, especially after watching the recently released sequel.
Tron: Legacy is a different story.
In a word, I liked it. I liked the visuals, the father/son relationship, how the story continues to pick up where the original left off and the hopeful ending that promises a hopeful future to come. There are a group of nitpicks I have about the dialogue, script and just plan fan stuff (more Tron! More Bruce! Where's David Warner? Where's Dr. Lora??), but overall, I enjoyed losing myself in the grid.
I even wondered about how one would live day to day in the game from what we saw of the outskirts where Flynn had been living all those years. (I even imagined how Garrett Hedlund looked before the suit fully materialized (yum) but alas, this is PG and children may be reading this). Ahem.
Movies, like books, should invoke that sense of wonder. Many folks go to the movies to be entertained or to have their emotions go through a rollercoaster. The dialogue may be stilted, the characters may be a turn off but the movies that work for us cancel all of that out because of the adventure. In the end, it's how the movie touches us on a personal level.
Despite its mixed reviews, I was touched by Tron: Legacy where I haven't be moved by a movie since last year's Avatar. I found myself lost in the grid of the film where I could almost see myself right there along for the adventure and ready to go again right after the ride ends. I went looking for a movie novelization to relive the story on a deeper level of characterization but alas, there wasn't one. There is a movie prequel which deals with the time of events between Flynn's disappearance and the movie. I'll be diving into that story to continue my immersion of Tron: Legacy.
Check out Cyberpunk Review for a well thought overview of the movie's strengths and weakness. I pretty much agree with everything they said.
Comparing Legacy to the original would be like comparing a modern, quad-core multi-gigabyte machine with a terabyte hard drive and NVIDIA graphics (no offense to ATI fans) to the original IBM PC model 5150. Comparing it to the more recent cyberpunk fare, Legacy is certainly better than what has been coming down the wires lately. Any cyberpunk fan should see it if just for the eye candy, maybe for the story too. Tron fans will definitely want to see Legacy.
Do us a favor Disney: If you’re going to do a Tron 3.0, don’t wait another thirty years. Some of us may not be around to see it.
Also check out Mania.com's review of Tron Legacy which captures pretty much everything I was feeling as well. :-D
The “A” grade at the top of this review reflects not perfection--far from it--but the way TRON: Legacy reminds us of the wonders this medium can bring. To watch it and be receptive to its vision is to understand how movies can show us things we’ve never seen before. It transports us in the same way Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz do. It makes us believe so strongly in its landscape that any questions about dodgy plot holes or thin characterizations simply die on our lips. The flaws are there, if you choose to look for them, but why on Earth would you want to? TRON: Legacy speaks to us on a more primal level: the only level where films like this really count. Leave Thirty-Eight-Year-Old Me at home for this one. He’s just too much of a killjoy.